DUCATI STREETFIGHTER V2 (2022 - on) Review
- New Panigale V2-based naked
- Easier and more engaging than Streetfighter V4
- Hugely entertaining
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Ducati’s new £14,995 Streetfighter is a naked Panigale V2 with virtually nothing taken away…except for the fairing. And that’s a very good thing because Bologna’s ‘baby’ superbikes have always had a sublime balance of power and handling - a bit like Suzuki’s old GSX-R750.
The Ducati Streetfighter V2 follows in the footsteps of its V4 sister - a lary, high tech tour de force with a 205bhp MotoGP-derived engine, but that’s also a bike that operates at such an otherworldly level it only makes sense on track. This is where the smaller version comes in.
Ducati have had a 'baby' Streetfighter in their stable before and the V2 feels every inch a modern take on that brilliant 2012 848 version. It’s just as nimble with a supermoto stance, but more powerful, refined and thanks to modern riding aids, safer, too.
Performance lays somewhere between a middleweight sports naked and full-fat super naked. It isn’t cheap, but it’s well equipped and beautifully made.Low-speed throttle manners can be choppy and we wish it had a bigger dash, heated grips and cruise control for the money.
It’s unashamedly sporty on the road and capable on track, but it’s also friendly and comfortable, although wind protection is non-existent and it can lack playfulness. It’s cheaper, nimbler and more exciting at normal speeds than its V4 sibling, too.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The Streetfighter V2 uses the same cast aluminium 'airbox' frame as the Panigale V2 (not the V4’s partial twin-spar frame) and shares its wheels, 17 litre fuel tank, tail unit and fully adjustable Showa forks and Sachs shock, albeit with more road-based damping settings.
Monobloc M4.32 Brembos and self-bleeding master cylinder are carried over, too, but the brake pads are less aggressive, but still powerful and free from unwanted ABS intervention.
Styling and straight bars mimic the Streetfighter V4, but despite having no fairing (or wings – they’re extra if you want them) the V2 weighs the same claimed 200kg.
How come? Its 16mm-longer single sided swingarm (to move weight over the front for extra stability), wider subframe, bigger seat, bars and minimal bodywork make up the difference.
With handling as sharp as the Panigale V2’s and without an excess of power to tie itself in knots the Streetfighter V2 is easy to ride. It drops, rather than rolls into corners at low speed, which takes a bit of getting used to, but its racy set-up makes sense when you pick up the pace.
The steering has sublime accuracy, and the harder you push the more it shines. It occasionally shimmies when you yank the bars to steer on track, like all big nakeds do, but it’s always stable.
Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV sports tyres (with a balloon-shaped 180/60 rear) grip hard on the road and hang on gamely on track, but stickier rubber would let you dig even deeper into the V2’s abilities.
Although the V2 is petite and narrower than the V4, it’s still spacious, even for bigger riders thanks to a 5mm taller seat than the race rep. It’s comfortable and kind to your joints, but there’s zero wind protection, so your neck and upper body muscles get a serious work out just hanging on at speed. Sadly, there’s no cruise control or heated grips.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Its 955cc V-twin Superquadro engine is slightly detuned, simply because with its new nose it can’t run the Panigale V2’s gaping central air duct.
It’s down just 2bhp to 151bhp and there’s 2lb-ft less torque, but it has a wide spread of easy to grab power, a hunger for revs and a booming exhaust note from its underslung can. It’s also Ducati’s first twin with dedicated torque maps for groups of gears, so power delivery from first to third is slightly mellower than the upper cogs.
Gearing is shorter by two extra teeth on the rear sprocket (now 15/43), for added hooliganism. You’ll spend more time with the throttle wide open than the V4, which is where the fun comes, but with most of its power living high up in the revs and lots of electronic intervention (unless you turn everything off), it isn’t a crazed wheelie machine.
That said the Streetfighter V2 delivers the perfect amount of oomph and you’re never left wanting more, like you can sometimes on middleweight sports nakeds like the Triumph Street Triple RS, KTM 890 Duke R and Yamaha MT-09 SP.
Despite being the understudy to the V4 the V2 still has an engine Foggy would’ve given his right arm for back at the height of his powers.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Build quality and attention to detail is excellent and MCN’s online owners’ reviews for the virtually identical Panigale 959 and V2 show them to be mechanically and electronically reliable. Servicing costs are made more bearable with its 15,000-mile Desmo valve check intervals. Minor services are every year and 7500 miles.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
From a performance and price point of view the Ducati Streetfighter V2 sits nicely in the middle ground between a middleweight sports naked and full-blown big-cube super naked.
Fifteen grand is still a lot of money, but when you look at its equipment level, the way it’s built, styled and downright specialness, it’s easy to justify.
There’s no semi-active suspension, Öhlins and its 4.3in colour TFT dash is on the small side (and doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity), but the Streetfighter V2 comes with everything else: Brembos, Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV rubber, traction control and cornering ABS (with slide control), an up/down quickshifter, anti-wheelie, engine braking control, three riding modes (Sport, Road, Wet) all with more road-biased settings compared to the Panigale V2.
Although its 4.3in colour TFT display is small, perfectly formed and useful, you’d expect something a little bigger and with Bluetooth connectivity for the price.
A full range of accessories is available, including an Akrapovic titanium exhaust system weighing a useful 7kg less and releasing an extra 4bhp and you can have any colour you want, as long as it’s red.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 8v, V-twin|
|Frame type||Cast aluminium 'airbox' monocoque|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||43mm Showa forks, fully adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Single Sachs shock, fully adjustable|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm discs with four-piston radial monobloc Brembo M4.32 calipers. Cornering ABS|
|Rear brake||245mm disc with twin-piston caliper. Cornering ABS|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||47 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||-|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||151 bhp|
|Max torque||75 ft-lb|
|Top speed||155 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||176 miles|
Model history & versions
2022: Ducati Streetfighter V2 introduced, based on Panigale V2
Watch MCN's Ducati Panigale V2 video review below:
There is only one version of the Ducati Streetfighter V2.
Owners' reviews for the DUCATI STREETFIGHTER V2 (2022 - on)
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